New Amsterdam Bicycle Show 2012
Dominated by a sea of transportation bicycles and accessories, Dutch-style and otherwise, the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show lived up to its name and then some. Only in its second year running, the show was a lively display of trends in North American urban cycling.
Held in a contemporary ground floor space in SoHo, the rooms began to fill with visitors from the minute its doors opened at 10am on Saturday.
By mid-day the crowds were impressive, with every seat in the Beer Garden annex occupied by hot dog eating and beer drinking attendees.
Grolsch sponsored the show with free beer, and had a couple of bespoke bikes on display. This one with the charming backward fork is by Republic, and there was also a Fietsfabriek cargo bike nearby.
In a general sense, I would describe the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show as similar to Interbike, only focused predominantly on transportation cycling.
A secondary focus of the show was on small, independent manufacturers and craftspersons. A few local framebuilders were represented, and there were lots of bespoke and hand made accessories on display.
My favourite handmade bicyce at the show was this truss frame by Benjamin Cycles (whose website I cannot find - help me out someone who knows them?).
But what really stood out was their frame with what appeared to be silver octopus tentacles wrapped around the tubes. Not for me, but it was certainly noteworthy.
I have been wanting to see Amy Munro's Florentia Formigli bicycle for a while, and here it was at the show - gold lugs and all.
Pista Classica model - celeste with custard yellow lugwork.
bicycle paintings booth was extremely popular.
Unlike industry-only trade shows such as Interbike, the New Amsterdam Show is open to the public, which makes the atmosphere more dynamic and casual, not so corporate-feeling. It is also good for the vendors, because they can sell their goods at the show and offset the fees of attending.
These House of Talents baskets - displayed at the Adeline Adeline/ Velojoy booth - were selling particularly well and it seemed like everyone was walking around with one. I am not surprised, as I've been testing them over the winter and they are are excellent; I will have a review up soon.
Another hot item were the Clever Hood capes. These sold so well on the first day, the owner had to restock overnight. The brisk trade created a happy environment of pleased vendors and attendees alike. The show had a relaxed and exciting vibe to it that I enjoyed.
The Dargelos Lightning Vest creates ethereal silhouettes that looked stunning during the fashion show when photographers used flash.
The fashion show held on Saturday - called Postcards from New Amsterdam - highlighted the local approach to bicycles and fashion as well. Directed by Nona Varnado and Hudson Urban Bicycles (HUB), the show was well coordinated and almost aggressively focused - leaving me with a better sense of how the outfits related to the bicycles the models were shown with than the show I watched at Interbike last year.
As far as transportation bicycles, a dizzying variety of brands and styles were represented. Some were displayed by the manufacturers themselves, while others were brought in by the local bike shops. I was especially excited to see the Achielle bicycle and the Viva shown earlier, neither of which I had seen in person before. I had a chance to test ride an Achielle while in New York City, and will have a review of that shortly.
Bicycle Habitat booth.
Truce offered a more contemporary selection of messenger-style bags in bright colours.
Fabric Horse added funky tool bags to the mix.
Cooper - yes, as in the automobile Mini Cooper!
Bobbin Bicycles were on display as well.
on flickr and instagram should give you an idea of just how many interesting things there were to look at.
The attendees were pretty intriguing also. Lots of glamorous New York fashion types - though my favourite outfit of the day was this one!
Having attended as "media," I do have a couple of suggestions for the organisers as far as improvements for next year. The lighting conditions were inconsistent, and quite poor in some parts of the space - which I felt was unfair to those vendors who were assigned those spaces. It was also difficult to take photos without using a flash unit and getting on everyone's nerves, which I don't like to do. The other thing, is that in my experience it is customary for trade shows to provide a free wireless internet connection for media, so that we might share our impressions of the show without having to, say, go to the Starbucks around the corner every couple of hours. Some secure storage space for equipment would also have been much appreciated. Maybe next year there could be a curtained off little Media Room?